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It was a 15 11 Rutland lead after one period and a warm and fuzzy glow was upon the Mount Saint Joseph Academy rooting section on Tuesday night.
Eight minutes later, Rutland had a 36 11 halftime lead and the rout was on, ending in a 76 34 victory for the unbeaten Raiders boys at Keefe Gym.
Rutland is highly regarded for many reasons, one of them being the suffocating defense the Raiders laid on the Mounties that turned the game in the second period.
The Raiders (8 0) exposed MSJ’s youth, took away its running attack and made a mess of the at least competitive game many in the near capacity house had hoped for.
Rutland held MSJ without a bucket in its signature transition game and used its superior size to outscore them in the paint, 56 12. The vaunted MSJ 3 point game was not a factor, with the Mounties not connecting with any regularity until the outcome had been determined in the second half.
Noah Tyson had a monster game for the Raiders with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Jamison Evans added 17 points, including a two handed slam off a steal that made it 54 13 with 1:25 left in the third period. Jared Nelson added 15 points and Jacob Lorman 10.
Maddox Traynor led MSJ (6 2) with 11 points while Logan Montilla, MSJ’s top player, had two points those coming off a layup in the first period with a quick first step past Tyson. But that was the end of that.
“That’s the best defensive team we’re going to face all season, no doubt about that,” MSJ coach Dave Randall said. “In the first six games of the season we have not had to work getting a good shot. The offense has been created by our defense and now we’re learning, hey, some teams can actually play defense.”
It was by far MSJ’s lowest point total of the season and resulted in MSJ’s second straight loss, both to Division I teams. The Mounties took an offensive pounding from the Raiders frontcourt during the second period, in which MSJ turned over the ball seven times and was outscored 21 0.
“I think we did not respond well when it got out of hand,
” Randall said. “We did what a lot of young teams do, which is stop believing in what we do.”
He expects his team to learn from the experience.
“This doesn’t change anything, he said. better time to get a drubbing like that than the end of January?”
And what better time for the Raiders to reassert themselves, with road games at South Burlington and Burlington looming later this week.
“We knew they were going to come out with a lot of energy and I thought we just kind of overcommitted a little bit,” Raiders coach Mike Wood said. “Once we did that, we kind of wore them down, which is what we were aiming to do.”
The Raiders had a huge advantage on the glass. Once Ethan Notte came off the bench and started grabbing rebounds left and right, the Raiders started building a 47 14 bulge. Notte chipped in four of his nine points the first period and five rebounds in the second.
“We talked about limiting them to one shot and it can’t be a catch and shoot, and then we wanted to rebound and go. And I thought they had a hard time matching up with us on the glass,” Wood said. “Noah and Jared Nelson they are men, and (MSJ) is not there yet.”
Once in charge, the Raiders used Nelson as the battering ram to finish off the victory. The Raiders big man had 11 points in the third period and the acrobatic Tyson had nine more to establish a 60 16 lead. Both teams went deep to the bench to finish the game.
MSJ is off until next Tuesday’s game at D I Burr and Burton, so the Mounties, who were eager to get right back into the gym, have time to reinforce their offensive belief system.
“I’m not going to lose any sleep over this,” Randall said. “It was a learning experience and it’s only going to make us that much better if we’re dangerous enough to score off working our offense. Right now it’s obvious that’s what we need to do.”
Rutland Jacob Lorman (10) drives down teh lane after getting past MSJ defender Logan Montilla during Tueday game at Rutland Leo F. Keefe Gymnasium. RHS won the game.